If you have read my personal story on the tab above called “Drug Testing”, it probably pissed you off. Even if you weren’t one of the ones who thought it would be a guide on how to beat a drug test, it probably pissed you off. And excuse me for the piss puns when I’m talking about drug testing.
This issue is one of extreme importance to me. We have become a country where the Supreme Court has approved the practice of forcing eleven-year-old students to submit a cup of pee to qualify to play viola in the middle school orchestra. We evaluate qualified, dedicated, talented employees not on the quality of their work, but by the content of their hair. Millions of American workers are, right now, carrying around a small bag of clean urine and chemical warming packets just in case the random “whizz quiz” comes up – some are even strapping on dildos for the test (NSFW link, duh!) because the boss has someone actually look to see if urine is coming out of a penis!
So if you have a tale of drug testing and how it has altered your life and career, please send it to me here at email@example.com. Here’s the latest one, from a listener in West Virginia:
To give you some background, I am a 25 year old who lives in West Virginia. I am married and a parent with a Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems and am wrapping up my first semester of my university’s MBA program.
I applied for, and was offered the position of, a paid internship with a local industrial cable distribution company where I would shadow IT professionals and offer remote assistance to branch employees across the nation. I was the intern that was going to resolve problems when someone on the other side of the country couldn’t print his sales reports to due to network errors and the like.
Note that I said I was the intern. After processing my application and completing the background check, a drug screen was all that stood between myself and the greatest opportunity I have seen to gain experience within my field of study. I had 100% abstained from even touching marijuana for at least 2.5-3 weeks by the date of the screen. I drank 8oz of water on the way to the testing facility. I walked in, waited my turn, peed in the little cup, and waited for the results. The administrator called my name and had me sign a form that stated I tested clean for all substances. Yes, I tested clean. Clean for ALL substances!
I was directed to wait for copies of some of the paperwork when the administrator returned and asked me to come with him. I followed him to a desk where he informed me they needed a hair sample. I knew he saw the look on my face when he said, “..not quite what you were expecting, huh?” He pulled out a razor and shaved the shit out of my leg (see the attached picture).
Unsurprisingly, I received a phone call a week and a half later from a kind voiced woman informing me that my hair had tested positive for marijuana and asked, ”When was the last time you smoked?” Being an uninformed toker at the time, I slipped and told her, “Over 2 months ago at a String Cheese concert in New York.” I don’t know the false positive stats for hair tests, so I figured there was no point in skirting the question or just not answering. She wished me good-luck and hung up.
Days later I received the call from the employer’s HR department telling me “You tested positive for marijuana, and we cannot hire you at this time.” Click. I tested positive on a hair test. As if that is going to tell anybody anything about someone else’s level of productivity, reliability, or any other characteristic than “they used drugs! (Gasp!)”. It’s hardly relevant given the time frame covered by the test, and it is reassuring to know that this entire process cost the company $400+ to NOT hire me.
Mind you, I have also been diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis since September 2009, and I find sincere benefits from using marijuana.. I admit – I am a recreational user at heart, but I found the power of that 100% natural, grown-from-the-earth, no chemicals added, unprocessed Plant relieved many of my aches and as well as fatigue – and diminished the side-effects from the disease modifying drug I was prescribed at the time – a self-administered injection that caused cold sweats and horrible flu-like symptoms, anxiety, and restlessness..
They gave him a pee test and told him he passed so he would sign the form where he asserts “I am 100% clean.” Then they give him the hair test that he fails, and by having him sign the previous document, have evidence that he lied to get the job. Then he confirms that he lied by saying he toked at a concert two months back. Human Resources departments are trained on these sorts of tactics so you have no recourse to sue for being offered a job and then having it yanked from you because they don’t like what you do on your off hours.
They even tell you right up front what they think of you: Human Resources. We used to be “personnel”, but that had the unfortunate ring of “person” to it. Even “employees” has some sort of implied relationship between two consenting adults – I am in your “employ”. But a “human resource” is just another resource, another thing, another line on the corporate ledger. And if we can test our other resources for purity, why not the human ones?